Poetry By Gina Bernard

Poetry By Gina Bernard

By Gina Bernard


She ponders.

When she still had a penis, 

she acted like a prick;

since she got her vagina, 

she’s often called a cunt.

Is it possible

she’s just always been 

an asshole?



at first,            dread thundered—lightning stalking a rainless sky;

at fault,           i plied her with shallow guile

at a loss           to express depth of self. 

at any rate,      which words would accord my carried load?

at last               i grasped my chance had swept downstream 


beyond             the point.


by mistake        she plunged in the obscure pool where

by myself           i’d kept legs churning, chin tipped against drowning.

by rote               i respired an effluence of exercised lies, revived

by the way         she breathed for us both, and


for a while          our plot was not flooded.


in any case,         i mouthed more bedded mud, channeled destruction

in vain                 attempt to arrest an image i’d been banking—

in itself                a levee already breached by the surge,

in danger            always of eroding our conflux.

in the end,           i struck a match to poured oil, and set our marriage


on fire.                 refusing to ford this burning river, she turned from my flames.


under                    no illusion she’ll return, my body now floats just

underneath           the surface: fish have taken my eyes, and skin drifts like cotton

with the                 current from these bones delta-bound.



Gina Marie Bernard is a heavily tattooed transgender woman, retired roller derby vixen, and full-time high school English teacher. She lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her daughters, Maddie and Parker, own her heart. Her chapbook Naked, Getting Nuder was a finalist in the 2018-2019 Glass Chapbook series, and is under contract with Clare Songbirds Publications. Her chapbook Taxonomies is a finalist for Thirty West Publishing's 2018 Chapbook Contest. Her work has recently appeared in Bone & Ink, The Hunger, r.kv.r.y quarterly, Spider Mirror, and Waccamaw Journal. She has work forthcoming in Anomaly, Heavy Feather Review, Lavender Review, and Riggwelter.